Boys desert Scouts to join Trail Life
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas — Chatting in the living room one night, Ron Orr gave his 15-year-old son Andrew a choice: He could stick with the Boy Scouts of America and his mission to become an Eagle Scout, or he could join Trail Life USA — the new Christian-based alternative that excludes openly gay boys.
This was no small decision. Four generations of Orr men had been Eagles, including Ron and Andrew's older brother. Andrew had spent years working toward Scouting's highest rank and was months from reaching it.
But the Boy Scouts had decided to admit gays, and Ron Orr, a tall, soft-spoken man with a firm handshake, is clear about his Christian faith and what it says about homosexuality: It is a sin that cannot be tolerated.
His son agreed. He would forgo the century-old BSA for Trail Life, which officially began last month.
“It felt like I'd be hitting something higher than Eagle in terms of achievement,” Andrew said.
The Orrs and others in Trail Life say they are fighting for the traditional values of Christianity and of Scouting, which includes a command in the Scout Oath to be “morally straight” — even as a changing America grows more accepting of gays and gay marriage.
“As Christians from a scriptural basis, we love all folks, but the Scripture is very clear that being homosexual is a sin,” Ron Orr said in an interview.
Trail Life has established units in more than 40 states, mostly from Boy Scouts and parents who feel their old organization has lost its way. It has about 600 units up and running or in the process of registration, executive director Rob Green said. As many as half of those who have expressed interest were not affiliated with the Boy Scouts beforehand, Green said.
It is still a tiny movement compared to Scouting, which has nearly 2.5 million youth members and remains a powerful force in American life, even with a 6 percent drop in membership last year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Colorado clinic shooting suspect talked of baby parts, police say
- Plasma burp seen in star’s destruction by black hole
- Artists plan to rebuild Alaska art display damaged by tides
- House Republicans call for refugee limits in spending bill
- Nuclear crossroad: California reactors face uncertain future
- Police officer killed in Colorado Spring clinic rampage a co-pastor, figure skater
- Police union stands by Chicago officer charged with murdering teen
- N.Y. face transplant called most extensive of its kind
- ‘Gene drive’ used to create malaria-resistant mosquitoes
- Foreign policy expert: Obama administration should create Syria safe areas
- 3 arrested in shooting of Minneapolis protesters